Welcome to our first week of celebrating the wonderful and super-awesome
This week's post is about the Seattle Stories series, with an excerpt from all three, plus a few little known facts about Con Riley, plus a chance to win a copy of After Ben.
First up, After Ben
A year after the sudden death of his longtime partner, Ben, Theo Anderson is still grieving. The last thing he's looking for is a new lover. But as Theo soon discovers, sometimes life has other plans.
While Theo experiences a powerful physical attraction to fellow gym member Peter, it's his new online friend, Morgan, who provides the intellectual challenge to make him come alive. Morgan is witty, brave, and irreverent, and Theo is ready to take the plunge... until he discovers Morgan might be half his age.
Theo's late partner was significantly older-enough to strain Theo's relationship with his family-and the potential of another relationship being cut short leaves him gunshy. Theo needs to lay Ben's memory to rest, reconcile with his family, and rekindle neglected friendships if he's to start afresh with a new lover. But Theo isn't the only one with a past.
His biggest challenge, in living after Ben, might not be his to face.
Morgan chatted privately to Theo as they watched the argument spin out, attracting so many comments that Theo could hardly keep up with them all. Morgan had enjoyed the debate so much. Every time someone posted an opposing viewpoint, he’d rebut, stealing their thunder.
THEO: You know, Morgan, some people just like Christmas lights.
MORGAN: I know. I love them. When we were stationed back in the states my pops couldn’t wait to get all his shit out of storage. You could see our house from the fucking moon.
THEO: So why are you arguing against them on the forum?
MORGAN: Why not? Arguing is one of my favorite pastimes. That, jerking off, and talking to you are my top three.
MORGAN: Sometimes I do them all at once.
THEO: So jerking off is on your list but sex isn’t?
MORGAN: I’m just keeping it real, Theo. But…. If you’re offering….
Theo smiled, changing the subject, but somehow lately they kept coming back to sex talk. He guessed men never really changed. As teens, locker-room conversation always revolved around who was getting laid. He’d been more of an observer than a participant, guessing pretty early that his interest in some of the seniors getting changed wouldn’t be a popular topic of conversation. Morgan wasn’t shy. He’d talk about anything and everything. If they ended their evenings together, tucked up in their beds while they chatted, sometimes the conversation made Theo throw back his covers. Morgan could make it hard to breathe.
MORGAN: Help me out here.
THEO: What’s up?
MORGAN: Don’t make me spell it out, Theo.
MORGAN: Just talk dirty for a while.
THEO: Blue-sky thinking. Thought shower. Full spectrum leadership.
MORGAN: NOT corporate dirty. Sex dirty.
THEO: I wouldn’t know where to start.
Morgan was a relentless tease, encouraging Theo’s mind down a one-way street that left him half hard and aching inside before he’d back off, laughing, keeping things light. As the weeks passed, Theo found himself thinking about Morgan throughout the day, and his nighttime thoughts about the man seemed somewhat safer than dwelling on Peter. He couldn’t even replay the last time they were together without feeling his chest constrict—what Peter wanted from him still seemed impossible.
MORGAN: Just tell me what you like.
MORGAN: Go on.
MORGAN: If you won’t, I will.
THEO: I miss kissing. And running my fingers through someone’s hair, or underneath his shirt; I miss that too.
THEO: Yeah, touching. Touching everywhere.
THEO: I like a handful of ass and a neck to suck.
MORGAN: What about a dick?
THEO: I could be persuaded.
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Second in the series, Saving Sean
Nearly a year after being rejected for another man, Seattle paramedic Peter Morse is still pining, so when the one that got away asks him for a favor, he agrees. His mission: track down Sean Reid, the runaway brother of a mutual friend. Peter isn’t thrilled about it—until he finds Sean injured by the side of the road.
Everything about Sean stirs Peter’s protective instincts—saving people is what he lives for—but he never anticipated falling for someone so hell-bent on running away. On top of his physical wounds, Sean struggles with grief and guilt, and the mess his estranged father left when he died threatens to overwhelm him.
Saving Sean means Peter must let go of his pride and turn to friends and family. Asking for help is a bitter pill for Peter to swallow, but if he can’t, how can he expect Sean to accept his help—and his love—in turn?
Peter sipped his coffee and pretended to listen to Joel’s conversation.
He couldn’t take his eyes off Sean.
His head tilted to one side as he absorbed the fact that Sean was a little on the thin side maybe, but that was nothing that having a workable kitchen and a boyfriend who wanted to feed him wouldn’t rectify. His torso was long and lean without being ripped. Peter was surprised how much he liked that, considering he also appreciated hard bodies. He tilted his head the other way. Even in sweats, Sean’s ass was fine. In his head he stretched that word and nodded, mighty fine. Its curve, from Peter’s side-on perspective, was high and tight. He closed his eyes, wetting his lips unconsciously as he recalled how Sean’s ass had felt in his hands.
Joel’s prolonged, “Dude,” was choked with restrained laughter. “I think you could ask him for anything right about now, Sean.”
Peter blinked, paying closer attention when Sean sat on the edge of the bed, asking if Joel and Evan could take his truck. He vaguely heard something about Portland and faster and back by dinner, but all he could see was the subtle bruising around Sean’s nipples. As he reached out to touch, Joel hurriedly backed out of the room, laughing again.
Sean’s expression was warm when he turned back after saying good-bye. He said, “Drink your coffee,” before walking over to the window and pulling the curtains fully closed as the sound of Peter’s truck faded. “Are you done?”
Peter nodded, letting Sean pull his still-hot cup from his fingers. He also let Sean push him back against the pillows.
“Did you see something you liked?”
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And so far the final book in the series, Aiden's Luck
House-sitting for a friend is supposed to be a lucky break for Aiden Daly. Discovering his new housemate is the image of his first crush turns it into a nightmare. Marco de Luca is obviously interested in being more than housemates, but his resemblance to Aiden’s ideal man seems only skin-deep. Besides, Aiden doesn’t date.
Since his adoptive father’s suicide, Aiden’s first priority has been supporting his remaining family—and shielding them from the truth of their financial situation. Deeply concerned for his mother's mental health, Aiden remains closeted and lonely, convinced that bad luck is the only luck he'll ever have.
As if the pressure of keeping his father’s financial secrets weren’t enough to handle, Aiden’s birth father makes contact, sending Aiden’s anxieties spiraling out of control. But it’s a crisis at work that finally brings Aiden to his breaking point. Accepting support from Marco is a gamble, but it could be just what Aiden needs to turn his luck around.
Aiden bit his tongue. Marco had brought nothing but stress into his life for the whole month they’d lived together. Coming home every evening to someone who walked around the place half naked, showing off his trim, tanned torso whatever the weather, and who thought nothing of climbing into his bed—talk to me, baby. I’ve been on my own all day—left Aiden in a constant state of…. He didn’t even know how to describe the inner turmoil that living with Marco provoked.
“But what is this?” Marco asked, his head buried in one of the open cartons, sounding suddenly delighted.
Aiden huffed, ignoring him, still angry that he’d wasted so much time chasing the infuriating Italian, who had nothing better to do than get on his nerves, all around the mall. He should start acting his age. Wasn’t he over thirty? Someone so compact and lazy shouldn’t be able to run so fucking fast. It wasn’t right. The only thing Marco ever exercised was his mouth.
“Is this another consignment of things you didn’t order, tesoro? Why won’t you let me help you when you make international deals? Or ask Morgan? Between the two of us, we speak enough languages to help you.” His voice lowered, and Aiden felt Marco’s hand on his thigh as he knelt at Aiden’s side. “Let us help you, yes? These translation mistakes could be avoided.” He removed his hand, leaving behind a scrap of pink, silky fabric—panties, ordered in error, expensive, and impossible for Aiden to return without losing money. Aiden couldn’t look away, transfixed by Marco’s slim fingers as he smoothed out the fabric across Aiden’s wide thigh. Those fingers traced the swirls in the silky pattern slowly, making Aiden shiver.
“These are so beautiful, Aiden. Feel them. Touch them for yourself. Imagine how they would feel against your skin. It is a shame they aren’t your size.”
Aiden gritted his teeth and tried not to move a muscle. His housemate needed no encouragement. This much he’d learned already. Marco sighed and stood again. He picked up the panties, fingering the lace that edged them.
“Maybe they weren’t a mistake.” He held them against his own narrow hips, made a small sound of approval, and then stuffed them into his pocket. “Perhaps I will model them for you after dinner.”
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You can also find Con Riley's books on Amazon, Amazon UK, Audible and Audible UK.
Three little known facts about Con:
I was the British version of a high-school drop out. I was asked to leave my sixth-form college because I spent my entire lower-sixth year experimenting with everything my mother warned me not to. My headmistress was so gentle with me that it took ages before I truly grasped that I’d been expelled. It took another twenty years before I finally graduated from University.
I took the first job I was offered with a national bank. It wasn’t a natural fit — I accidentally broke the door to the vault, which meant the bank ran out of money; I am numerically dyslexic, so I often gave out too much cash to customers, and I once set on fire the money destined for the ATM machine. I think they were glad when I switched careers!
I’m very short sighted. When I moved into my last house, a new neighbour called around to welcome me to the neighbourhood. I was making lunch at the time, and I invited her to join me. Just as I was about to pass her a plate of food I saw a HUGE spider on the kitchen counter. I can’t say that I’m proud of my first instinct, but my neighbour still talks about the time I threw her lunch at a ferocious tomato stalk. ☺ I wear glasses all the time now. (This reminds me of one of my favourite parts in After Ben where Theo, who is my age, has to hold a condom at arm’s length to read the expiration date. Aging is so cruel!)
You can find Con Riley on her website, on Twitter and at Goodreads!
And now for the giveaway!
One lucky reader will receive an e-copy of AFTER BEN.
Join us again next week for info about Salvage, Con's favorite things, and a chance to win another fabulous prize. Until then, happy reading!!